EA Madden NFL 25 Xbox One & PS4 Review
Over the past couple of weeks Madden has made the jump to next generation with launch releases on both the Xbox One & PS4. So we decided to jump in and take a look at whether it is a worthwhile purchase for your shiny new consoles.
Madden 25 on both the consoles is a good starting point for the next generation of football games. This is not the prettiest launch game but where they have made changes is underneath the hood. If you have played Madden 25 on 360/PS3 then all the features and game modes you are familiar with have joined you in the next-gen and yes my personal favourite Ultimate team is of course still in it.
So now we have got that out of the way let’s move onto where Madden 25 really shines, on the field. The next-gen innovations here are “true step,” “war in the trenches,” “player sense” and many more minor tweaks without fancy names for the box.
War in the Trenches seems like such a minor detail on the surface but one that might have finally balanced both sides of the line. Whereas it used to feel like the offensive line could protect a QB against whatever the defence sent at them, this is no longer the case and sending an all-out blitz will see the QB eating dirt in no time. Zoom your camera in and you will see hundreds of unique animations between battling linemen.
Another new innovation is “True step” which makes players take realistic steps when running. It apparently calculates the steps ball carries make and evaluates weight and momentum. “True step” replaces the old system which always felt a little ‘arcadey’. Now it feels like the run game has been tackled a few yards for a loss. The old run game would give you the chance for explosive runs on every play, but with the new system you will struggle to gain any yards on most plays. Whilst this does make it feel more like a simulation, it does make some of the more elusive players feel very sluggish on their feet. This may be rectified with some tweaks to the sliders but out of the box the run game is my only gripe with gameplay.
With the power of “player sense” players now make realistic split second decisions and this has made some major changes on both sides of the ball. Players will anticipate situations and make realistic decisions. One of my favourite additions is watching players make side-line catches and then tightrope walk the side-line as they struggle to stay in bounds. Players now have “contextual awareness” meaning they no longer collide with each other; running backs will bounce off linemen and fight for a few extra yards. Passing the ball has been made tougher by defensive backs that will anticipate where you will pass the ball and before you know it they have cut in front of your target and retuned the ball for a pick 6 on what was previously your “money” play.
Madden 25 next-gen is a minor step up in graphics from the 360/PS3. It is very easy to see that this is a port of the version released in August with a lick of paint over the top. If you picked up this game to show off the graphics of your new console, I can assure you that you have the wrong game. From the standard view it’s hard to tell which console you are playing on, it’s not until you zoom in you notice a slight difference. Some player likenesses are way off and look like they have been created in the “create-a-player” mode. The lack of detailed features (tattoos) on certain players is also a big oversight.
Stadiums supposedly should come to life and feel more realistic with the new feature called “living worlds”. This hardly comes across with the same generic 20 or so fans and generic people on the side-line. The fans hardly react to what’s happening on the field.
Madden 25 on current gen was already a fantastic game and the next-gen version has only added to this. Presentation still could do with some work but on the field where it really matters this is the most realistic game of football we have ever seen.